SDLP Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan has welcomed the announcement by the Health Minister Edwin Poots that a test for HPV has now been incorporated within the Cervical Cancer Screening Programme.
Mr Durkan said:
The decision taken by the Health Minister to incorporate a test for HPV into the Cervical Cancer Screening Programme is most welcome. This will go some way to reducing the far too high number of women in this part of the world from developing cervical cancer.
With 20-30 women dying from the disease each year in Northern Ireland more must be done to ensure women are given every chance to be protected from cervical cancer. One death from this disease is one too many.
I previously raised the need to introduce the test for HPV as an essential component of the screening process for cervical cancer when I was health spokesperson for the party and a member of the Health Committee at Stormont.
Given the link between HPV and the development of cervical cancer the extension to the immunisation programme is a further way of warding off against this dangerous type of cancer.
The improved screening programme will afford further protection to women and reassure their families. Screening saves lives and I hope that women can avail of an improved programme that they can have confidence in.